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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tipping a sacred cow - Finding the will of God

The sincere believer who looks for God's will is most to be pitied if they are honest enough to recognize they cannot find it. What adds to the discouragement is they fail to see that the reason they cannot find it is because it is rarely the kind of thing one needs to find, and most of the time it does not exist. Discouraged and feeling they are somehow not as spiritual as others, they slip into some self serving plan "B" because everyone knows you cannot serve God doing things He did not call you to do.

The idea that God has a will for your life is a hoax. God gave you the responsibility to manage your own life and a conscious experience with which to make your own decisions. God reserves the right to interject or possibly on rare occasions to call a person to a very specific task, but He will not and does not micromanage his people's decision making processes. Wisdom and knowledge cannot ever properly develop in a diminutive human robot, nor can genuine love.

A believer can learn to make their own decisions while conscious of living in the presence of God in a way that is accountable to the God who cares about outcomes. But even more importantly, you can learn to make decisions for yourself while nurtured and inspired by God's loving presence.

There are no examples in the Bible of any one who lives their entire life searching for what God wants them to do next. The closest to an exception is Jesus. But there are many examples in the Bible of people who make their own decisions and on occasion seek council from God and on occasion receive direction from God.

If God has something specific for you to do, that is His problem and He can figure out a way to let you know what it is He needs you to do. Finding God's will is impossible. Making your own decisions congruent to God's purposes is doable. And the more you mature as a Christian the better you get at it.

Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God.

I do not usually quote scripture but when tipping sacred cows it can sometimes help

Luke 1:3 (This gospel was written because it seemed good to do so.)
Acts 15:24-29 (a plan was decided upon they thought seemed consistent with what God could work with. As it turns out what they thought would seem good to the Holy Spirit is actually contrary to other explicit teachings from the New Testament.)
Proverbs 10:32 (The righteous know what is fitting.)
1 Corinthians 14:40 (While planning what to do in an assembly of Christians you can base that decisions on what is proper and orderly.)
Mark 14:8 (Mary did what she decided to do and Jesus defended her right to decide for herself how to honor him.)
2 Corinthians 8:10 (Paul gives advice based on what he thinks is best.)
1 Thessalonians 3:1 (Paul manages problems in the gathering of believers by coming up with a plan that he thought was the best plan.)
Mark 3:4 (Jesus asks if it is lawful to do good or do evil on the sabbath.)
Romans 14:6 (What you consider good becomes your responsibility to keep from being spoken of as evil.)
Galatians 6:10 (Do the good things you have an opportunity to do.)
Philippians 2:13 (Do what fits God's purposes and you can be confident it is God working in you.)
Titus 3:8 & 3:14 (If you trust in God you can exercise your own care in deciding what good things to do.)
Hebrews 5:14 (mature Christians are already "trained" to distinguish good from evil.)
Hebrews 10:24 (you can encourage others to do what they see as good to do.)
1 Peter 4:19 (implies that you can be in God's will when all you know is that you are doing what you thought was good to do.)

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